Passionate, purpose-driven educators, organizers, and community leaders.
VOL was founded by folks who have witnessed or experienced injustice themselves and believe that personal and social transformation are interconnected. Through our experiences, research, and countless conversations with people from different communities and walks of life, we’ve identified patterns of systemic inequity, and developed a curriculum to evolve these patterns into a new blueprint for a more loving and inclusive future.
Our mission to train Visionary Organizers who can create a more dignity-affirming and empathetic world is driven by our belief in the transformative powers of creativity and connection.
Matt Birkhold (he/him)
Connective Energy Organizer (CEO) & Teacher-Facilitator
Ashley Johns (she/her)
Interim Director of Finance and Bookings
Marketing and Promotions Organizer
Matt has been a consistent influence in VOL’s development from a volunteer collective to a systematic educational laboratory.
Ashley is a dynamic creative strategist and storyteller with a profound passion for business development.
Mable is devoted to identifying and understanding processes for community healing through art, research, intentional connection, and experimentation.
ADVISORY WORK GROUP
Similar to a board of directors, VOL's Advisory Work Group provides counsel, coaching, and problem solving support for our work. It is made up of some of the smartest, most dynamic, and grounded people around.
Shawn Whitehorn (he/him)
Shawn is a curious systems-thinker, facilitator, artist, designer, lifelong learner, and dot-connector.
Ebony Williams (she/her)
Ebony practices community self-reliance as founder of Ancient Beauty, an urban agricultural non-profit in Detroit, and has worked extensively with Feedom Freedom Growers.